I spent 8 hours on the shooting range yesterday, thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and SHOT Show‘s Media Day at the Range. To some, that might sound like a lot, but, for me … well, I couldn’t get enough of it. Shooting, learning about new (and existing) guns and connecting with other industry professionals is my favorite “perk” of my job as managing editor at The WON. I’m excited to share my experiences with our readers, so without further adieu, here are five things I love from Media Day at the Range.
I love women educating other women about shooting
Jennifer Blake, Karen Butler and Christy Crawford. Photo courtesy of Jason Baird
Established in 2008, Shoot Like A Girl intends to grow the number of female participants in the shooting sports. In December of 2013, Shoot Like A Girl added its Firearms Test Shots program, that includes a state-of-the-art 52-foot trailer where women can shoot 9mm pistols and .223 caliber rifles, utilizing a simulation system that allows the shooters to test actual firearms with only 80% of the normal felt recoil. Live-fire compound bows are also available for testing.
Karen Butler founder and president of Shoot Like A Girl, Cristy Crawford the chief of operations and pro-staffers Kristy Titus and Jennifer Blake were on hand during Media Day to instruct and inform attendees about the program and simulation trailer. Jennifer gave me a run down of the pistol, Kristy instructed the rifle platform and Cristy showed me the correct form for shooting a compound bow. Although I’m well versed in both pistol and rifle shooting, archery is something that is fairly new to me. I left the trailer feeling like I wanted to get a bow of my own and start practicing! Mission accomplished.
I love rifles that are just plain fun to shoot
Photo courtesy of Jon Patton
The Lancer L30 Long Range Tactical (LRT) chambered in .308 is a blast to shoot. This rifle offers interchangeable magazine well extensions, an ambidextrous bolt release (highly appreciated from a south paw’s point of view,) an oversized magazine release and CMC trigger. I went prone to shoot the LRT at 200 yards, and easily put five “hits” downrange in a matter of seconds. The crisp trigger and rigidity of the carbon fiber hand-guard made it easy to stay on target.
I love TeamWON and Kim Rhode
Photo courtesy of Hank Anstine
Team WON’s Sara Ahrens, Mia Anstine, Barbara Baird and me challenged olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode to a sporting clays competition during Media Day. She is currently training for a match and unable to shoot. That’s okay, we think that she would beat us, even with all of our scores combined.
I love Beretta shotguns
Photo courtesy of Jason Baird, AKA “Dr. Bomb”
I’m a fan of Berretta shotguns in general, especially the SV10 Perennia I 20-gauge that I carried during Michigan’s upland season last year. True to Beretta’s craftsmanship, the Beretta A400 Xplor Action 28-gauge is extremely well balanced and has great “pointability,” allowing for great follow-through when shooting clays at Media Day. This 28-gauge is available with Beretta’s signature Kick-Off recoil reducing system, that greatly decreases felt recoil, as well as an optional GunPod — an electronic device that counts fired shots and reads outside temperature, among other things. The receiver is made of anodized aluminum alloy in a brown/bronze color. Ascetically, it’s very pleasing. 5.5
The Xplor Action come with modified, cylinder and full HP Optima Bore choke tubes. The Beretta representative at Media Day informed me that the HP choke tubes could be shot through 10,000 rounds without needing to be cleaned. That’s a lot of clays or birds! With a weight of only 5.5 pounds, I can’t wait to see how this little 28-gauge performs in the upland woods.
I love concealed carry handguns
Photo courtesy of Jon Patton
The Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 combines M&P characteristics like fish-scale serrations on the rear slide and a polymer frame with black coated stainless steel slide. This lightweight single-stack pistol is great for concealed carry and has a 2 ¾ inch barrel, with an overall length of 5 ¼ inches. It weighs in at a mere 11.85 ounces. The magazine capacity is 6+1 rounds.
While sending rounds down range during Media Day, I noticed that the M&P Bodyguard .380 has minimal felt recoil and controllable muzzle flip, allowing me to quickly reacquire the target.
According to Matt Rice of Blue Heron Communications (Smith & Wesson’s public relations company,) the M&P Bodyguard .380 is currently being shipped, and should arrive to retail stores within the next few weeks.
MSRP: $379 and includes 2 magazines.
I had tons of fun at Media Day again this year, and I look forward to testing out more of the products that I saw. Check back to The WON for more SHOT Show coverage during the rest of the week.